written by Gabriel von Wendt LC
Pope Francis recently summoned all Catholic Universities to be “cultural laboratories” (Veritatis Gaudium, 3). This summer, the Athenaeum hosts a fellowship of thirty international students to study today’s cultural reality from the standpoint of faith and develop a creative and distinctly Catholic leadership style. This “Catholic Worldview Fellowship” takes place for the second time and its mission-statement as convinced more students to apply than the program will be able to accept. “We form, network and empower talented students to evangelize culture.”
We want to form students who are not afraid of tomorrow; young men and women who see not only the challenges but also the potential within the changes our world is going through. While in Rome, we therefore want to drink deeply from the roots of Christian culture which the city offers, in order to learn the patterns of cultural change in history. Just as St. Augustine, St. Benedict or similar giants of the past, the Christian leaders of tomorrow will have to shoulder the responsibility to transmit the unchangeable message of Christ with the new language and innovative formats of the emerging culture. In order to cope with this responsibility, they cannot be left alone, but must be wholeheartedly supported.
Like many of the other initiators and teachers of this program, I study at the Regina Apostolorum. During my Licentiate studies in Philosophy, the beauty of the truth and the wholesomeness of the human being, as they are taught here, have deeply touched and helped me to comprehend the intellectual implications of the Church’s task to evangelize. Committed priestly ministry and academic excellence enrich each other! The Athenaeum has the potential to more and more become a “cultural laboratory” where those two objectives can cross-fertilize each other.